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The Women of Waitress

The musical Waitress is becoming the third musical in Broadway history to have an entirely female creative team. Give that a moment to settle in.

While I mean in no way to diminish the excitement of an entirely female creative team, I do need to stop and ask why this has only happened 3 times on Broadway.

This is shocking to me for 3 reasons to be specific.

1)Given the amount of women working in theatre, this should be happening way more often. Now I know that it may not mean that there are 100s of productions with entirely female creative teams… but certainly more than 3. While this is a success, it makes me sad that it needs to be looked at as a landmark instead of a norm.

2)Women dominated the Tony Awards this past year… and when women are clearly sweeping the awards ceremonies it makes me wonder why people wouldn’t be chomping at the bit to work with as many women as possible.

3)The overall percentages are not great… While 31% of recorded playwrights are women, only 22% of plays that are produced in the US are by women. 1 in 10 directors, authors or composers on Broadway are female. 1 in 4 choreographers are female. For a field that is filled with women, these numbers are disappointing.

Now that I have that general disappointment in Broadway aside, lets get back to this success!!!

The fact is that this group was able to form organically, which is an incredible success that wipes out anything that I can be disappointed in. These women were able to naturally come into creative leadership, and that makes me believe in a future for theatre where that is the norm. It makes me believe in a day that people will walk into an audition with an all female creative team sitting by and think nothing of it.

Change is incremental… I need to keep reminding myself that, and hopefully this is a sign of that change.


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